Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.
Interview with Jana Richards, author of “The Girl Most Likely”
Cara McLeod here, your host of our local events TV show, Rochester Noon. Today Finn Cooper will be my co-host as we interview writer Jana Richards. Jana is a special guest for us because she’s written a novella featuring Finn and me and our rocky road to happily ever after. Without further ado, let’s begin the interview.
Cara: Welcome Jana! Thank you for being our guest today.
Jana: Thank you for inviting me.
Finn: Is this your first time on live television? It’s a bit unnerving, isn’t it?
Jana (staring nervously at the camera): Yes, this is my first time. Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
Cara: (handing her a glass of water) It’s probably you. Now Jana, as I said, you’ve written a story about Finn and me called “The Girl Most Likely”. How did you come up with that title?
Jana: (takes a sip of water) You inspired it, Cara. In high school you were the girl voted most likely to have the perfect marriage, as well as being voted most likely to be running a Fortune 500 company by the time you were thirty. And since this story is about you and your fellow Class of ’85 classmates and your 25th high school reunion, the title seemed appropriate.
Cara: Yeah, well, those things didn’t pan out for me. My first marriage failed and I’ve never run any Fortune 500 companies.
Finn: (taking her hand) Maybe things didn’t turn out the way you envisioned in high school but in the end, things turned out great.
Cara: (smiling) They really did, didn’t they? Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but sometimes it gives you what you need.
Jana: Aren’t those the lyrics to a Rolling Stones song?
Cara: Jana, let’s get back to you. Why did you feel the need to tell our story?
Jana: When the call came for submissions for reunion stories from The Wild Rose Press, I looked at possibly writing the stories of some of your other classmates, but it was your story and Finn’s that really called to me.
Finn: Why us? What makes our story different?
Jana: Well, for a start, Finn, you’re eight years younger than Cara. That’s a little different from a typical romance novel couple. Then there’s the whole weight thing. I knew many readers would be able to relate to Cara’s struggle to lose weight and look good for her high school reunion, especially when her ex-husband was going to be there with his new hot, young girlfriend.
Cara: I had to shape up for the reunion. I still had a little pride left.
Jana: But what I found out in the writing of this story was that Finn could totally relate to Cara’s desire to lose weight. You could understand the struggle she faced to get fit, couldn’t you Finn?
Finn: Totally. I was once obese myself. Through healthy eating and exercise over a two year period, I lost 128 pounds.
Jana: No one looking at you now would believe you were once fat. It took unbelievable strength of character to get where you are now. You’re amazing, not to mention totally gorgeous.
Cara: (smiling fondly at Finn) Right on both counts, Jana. Finn is gorgeous and amazing. He’s also a terrific physical trainer as well. He helped me get in shape.
Finn: After I lost the weight I wanted to change everything about my life. So I become a trainer to help others get healthy.
Cara: (turning to Jana) What else besides Finn’s weight loss makes “The Girl Most Likely” a little different?
Jana: I think it’s different because rather than being an outsider in high school, you were one of the popular kids. In many reunion stories, an outcast in high school returns to triumph over the popular kids who were mean to him back then. I love those stories, but I wanted to tell your story because you were exactly the opposite. You were popular in high school and now you’re returning to the reunion as a loser.
Cara: (wincing) That’s harsh.
Finn: Cara’s never been a loser, and never will be.
Jana: Maybe not, but you felt like a loser, didn’t you, Cara? You worried that people at the reunion would either pity you or laugh at you because your perfect marriage failed, your perfect figure went south, and your career consisted of being a junior assistant at a TV station. Serving coffee to guests of Rochester Noon was hardly the career you’d envisioned for yourself in high school.
Cara: No, I thought I’d be an executive with a six figure salary by the time I was thirty. So much for that idea. But my marriage wasn’t a total waste. Even though it failed, I have two beautiful daughters that I’m very proud of.
Jana: I know you are and I think you’re a terrific mother. But what makes “The Girl Most Likely” really different is Finn’s secret.
Cara: Finn’s secret?
Finn: How did she find out about that? Did you tell her?
Cara: Well, I might have mentioned it in passing…
Finn: (groans) Does everybody know?
Jana: Only people who read the book. Or see this interview. Finn Cooper is an unusual romance hero because he’s a—
Finn: Cut to commercial! Quick!
Sherry, Jana here. Thanks for having all three of us on your blog today. I hope you enjoyed the interview!
Sherry: I did indeed, thank you for visiting with us today And thanks too, to Cara and Finn for doing such a terrific interview.
Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
He chuckled. “Jessica better watch her back. You could give her a run for her money.”
He heard Cara’s throaty laugh, and various parts of his anatomy tingled in response. “Yes, that’s my evil plan. Take over Rochester Noon, then the world.”
“If you set your mind to it, I’m sure you could do it.”
“For believing in me.”
“Are you going to be okay now?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks to you.”
He wanted so badly to tell her he loved her, adored her, thought she was the most amazing woman in the world. But fear stopped him. Was she truly over her ex-husband? Why else would losing weight for the reunion be so important to her if not to impress Peter?
“I’ve got to run. Thanks again. I’ll talk to you later at my condo, right?”
“Absolutely. I can hardly wait to hear about your big TV debut. Break a leg. Isn’t that what they say in show biz?”
She laughed. “Yeah, that’s what they say. Bye.”
Finn replaced the receiver and closed his eyes. He hoped everything went well with this interview. Cara deserved to realize how amazing she was.
If she did come to that realization, would there still be room in her life for him?
JANA WILL BE GIVING AWAY: one $20 GC to The Wild Rose Press to one randomly drawn commenter AND a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the goddessfishpromotions tour – the more you comment, the better their chances of winning.
The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/09/virtual-book-tour-girl-most-likely-by.html